Creeping acquisitions take BJP towards majority in Rajya Sabha

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Times of India, July 17, 2019

Neeraj Shekhar, who quit his Rajya Sabha seat and joined BJP, is likely to return to the upper House as the ruling party inches towards the majority mark through creeping acquisitions.

Shekhar, son of former PM Chandra Shekhar, joined BJP on Tuesday amid indications that the party will field him in the bypoll necessitated by his resignation. He had quit Samajwadi Party and his Rajya Sabha seat on Monday.

BJP has adequate numbers in UP to send Shekhar to Rajya Sabha and his re-election will result in the party gaining six seats in the upper House after the Lok Sabha results with the opposition losing as many seats. In the House of 245, BJP’s current strength is 115, eight short of majority mark, which will further shrink once Shekhar returns to the House of Elders.

This comes on the back of four Telugu Desam Party MPs in Rajya Sabha – Y S Chowdary, C M Ramesh, Garikapati Mohan Rao and T G Venkatesh – joining BJP recently, besides Ram Kumar Kashyap of INLD. Shekhar joined BJP in the presence of party general secretaries Bhupendra Yadav and Anil Jain after he called on PM Narendra Modi. “The recent verdict has confirmed that India feels safe in the hands of PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, which prompted me to join BJP,” Shekhar said. “After a few developments in the past, I was contemplating to quit SP,” he said while thanking railway minister Piyush Goyal for helping him switch to BJP.

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